DETROIT — Customs officers found something a little “fishy” in one passenger’s baggage at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Upon routine X-ray of an unaccompanied suitcase, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered a skull-shaped object inside, prompting further examination by border security and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials who determined the object was the skull of a young dolphin.
The baggage had been separated from its owner during transit, according to a news release from CBP, and was screened when reentering the United States.
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“The possession of wildlife items, especially those of protected animals is prohibited,” said Robert Larkin, area port director, in the release. “We take wildlife smuggling seriously and work closely with our federal partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wildlife and their habitats.”
All dolphins and porpoises are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and some species are listed under the Endangered Species Act, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and, as such, are regulated by import and export restrictions, including skin and bones.
The dolphin skull was turned over to fish and wildlife officials for further investigation, according CBP.
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Story Credit: usatoday.com